Vegan Art

I have been vegan since I was 18 and compassion for all things in the universe is something I have been working on since then and will continue to work on. A little while ago I realized that the art products I use everyday are probably not vegan and after realizing that it is next to impossible to find any of this information on the internet I have started this project. Please note that what I have up so far are products that are relavent to me but if you would like me to get a hold of any companies in regards to any products that you use or have any information that you have gathered and would like to share then get a hold of me.

  1. Slais International states that all of their Doc Martins Watercolors contain NO animal ingredients.
  2. All Daler Rowney FW acrylic ink contain NO animal ingredients
  3. All Daler Rowney artists watercolours contain NO animal ingredients except Bone Black (it contains bone)
  4. Unfortunately Speedball’s black india ink contains shellac (an animal product) but their pigmented acrylic inks are vegan friendly (which are a great substitute).
  5. This was sent to me from Schmincke watercolors “Regarding the Schmincke water-colours we can inform you that our HORADAM Aquarell and AKADEMIE water-colours contain all oxgall as wetting agent, which is definitely an animal ingredient.” Bummer.
  6. From Pelikin ink I was told that their Koh-I-Noors Transmix media ink (9065 series, many colors) and Koh-I-Noors “Special Inks” (9066, limited colors) are all waterproof and vegan.
  7. Good quality watercolor paper that is not sized in animal gelatine is hard to find and Twinrocker homemade paper (available at Blick) is NOT vegan.
  8. Higgins ink is NOT vegan, it contains shellac.
  9. Holbein is a quality watercolor company and according to the website their artist watercolors are all animal friendly except their Ivory Black is PBk9 which is made from charred animal bones.
  10. Canson informs us that the Rives Printmaking Papers are sized with a synthetic gelatin, similar in its properties to a starch based gelatin, this means it is good to try, I am getting desperate for a good watercolor paper that is vegan. My friend Shaun (who in an awesome vegan artist you should check out his website is going to try out this paper and let me know what he thinks so I will keep you posted.
  11. Shizen watercolor papers available for order from Blick are handmade in India using recycled material and are animal friendly I tried out this paper it is pretty awesome but really rough so it’s hard to get a clean line on it and wouldn’t work for some other techniques that I am getting into.
  12. Strathmore watercolor papers are not sized in gelatine but I have a very hard time painting on them, generally I think they suck but thank you Strathmore for thinking about the environment and our animal friends.
  13. I have attached the very nice information sheet that Winsor and Newton sent me in regards to animal products in their watercolor products and notes Bockingford watercolor paper as being vegan friendly but I have not been able to find it anywhere, maybe I’m blind any help? Vegan_Information winsor newton for some reason you have to click on this link twice, sorry I  can’t figure out why.

you can find some great additional information here;

I am constantly in a state of evolving so I look forward to hearing any additional information or suggestions you may have.

17 Responses to “Vegan Art”

  1. Adriana March 24, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Thanks for starting this project up.
    I turned vegan a couple of years ago and know full well that a lot of the art products i use contain animal ingredients.
    I’ve been reluctant to look into it very deeply as the information is difficult to find even on the Internet and would hate to give up painting because I can’t find suitable products.
    These days I use a lot of Watercolour paper so decided I could at least find a brand that does not use gelatin for sizing.
    I found the same info Winsor & Newton sent you and to my horror found all their Watercolour paper uses gelatin (so not even vegetarian). I also found Bockingfords is, unfortunately it is made of wood pulp not cotton and recommended for students, so I assume it’s not as great quality as W&N or Arches.
    I’ll let you know here if I find a high quality vegan Watercolour paper and will check back regularly.

  2. Amy May 11, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Yupo paper is vegan! People say it works well for watercolor.

    • Waves and Oceans May 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

      Thank you!

      • Lisa Viger December 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

        Fabriano makes fabulous watercolor paper (probably the best I’ve ever used) and their website says “We do NOT use any animal products as part of our sizing process. We use plant-based and synthetic sizing.” I get my Fabriano paper at Dick Blick online for about $6 a sheet, so it’ not all that expensive, either.

      • Waves and Oceans January 3, 2012 at 2:32 am #

        thanks for the recommendation Lisa I will have to try that out.

  3. Raeann cardoza November 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    thank you so much ,im a vegan (bben for 7 years and obviously im STILL learnign new things!),and i really never thought about paper being nonvegan! but im shocked..i want to obviously make and sell vegan art,and i really need to buy only vegan friendly products..any new news and info will be GREATLY appreciated. this is unnerving,since i know many artists who i really dont think kno that their art is not vegan. wow.

  4. raheel mohammad December 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks for the information, what a wonderful project, very informative.

    I have used Arches water color paper in the past, do you know what type of gelatin is used in Arches? I am looking for a high quality museum grade large size paper for my mix of water color, pigment and Giclee printing using epson large format printer. I paint on partially imaged prints from the epson using archival pigment inks.

    Thank you!

    • Waves and Oceans January 3, 2012 at 2:34 am #

      I’ve heard Rives BFK paper is good, but haven’t tried it myself

  5. Pafboing January 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm #


    I’m not vegan but I seem to be getting there little by little.
    This is a commendable endeavor, but I believe we should all think holistically and not limit our concern about art supplies to the animal kingdom only. I’m certainly no expert, and I’m only wondering: what if synthetic products do more damage to the air, the water, the ground than natural ones (example: acryl vs. shellac)?
    Our choices might have a short-term impact on the animal-exploiting industries, but if that results in more chemical pollution of the earth and atmosphere to the point that mankind and animals will suffer more gravely in the long term, these choices are wrong, too.

    • Waves and Oceans January 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your point of view, and an excellent one it is. What is right and what is wrong? What is good and what is bad? These are two poles that I contemplate on a lot and I think that perhaps they only exist in our minds. All i can do is try to live a consciously, responsibly and as compassionately as I can and this will be something I think about. I hope we all learn to live by these principles but I am not here to judge anyone or have any sort of attachment to how anyone should think or be. Thank you!

  6. veganactivist June 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Hello, I’m putting through an online order right now to an art store in Ontario and I’ve been using your site as a cross-reference to make sure my choices are as vegan as possible.

    You note that you’ve had trouble finding Bockingford paper, well this art store does sell it online if that’s any help.
    140 lb. cold-press, straight-cut edges (not deckle) 22 inch by 30 inch paper, 5 sheets for $12 Canadian as of June 2012. is the website.

    Cheers and thanks for all the information!

  7. Billy Jean August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Hi, is this the Canson paper you talked about? Do you know about the Canson Rag 100% coton photo papers?

  8. tinako November 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks for the information. You don’t like Strathmore watercolor paper, but it works well for me, at least for my style of painting (somewhat fussy and detailed as opposed to free and loose).

    I wanted to report that Fabriano also makes a vegan pastel paper (the popular Canson Mi-Teintes is sized with gelatin).

    For making prints, I use a Canon PIXMA Pro 9000; the Canon ink is vegan, as is Canon’s Museum Etching paper from Hahnemuhle. The slightly cheaper Moab paper is also vegan, but I haven’t tried it yet. Canson makes an Etching paper but they didn’t call me back, so vegan status unknown.

  9. Lauren Douglas August 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Hi there, I have composed a large pinboard referring back to your blog and some of the items you shared. My pinterest username is SketchingVeg. I am working on making a post series about vegan art products and your post here has been one of the most helpful, thank you.

  10. Michelle December 10, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    I stumbled on your blog looking for information about animal freepaper etc.
    I don’t know if these are completely vegan but it’s heading in the right direction
    Neutral size
    Hahnemühle was the first papermill in Germany to switch to synthetic sizing with a neutral synthetic agent. Such a paper sizing method has been possible for about 30 years and is used to make extremely stable and ageing resistant paper grades.

    The Lana papers they have aren’t without gelatine though…

    Thank you for the info!

    • Waves and Oceans December 16, 2013 at 3:40 am #

      Thank you so much for this information, this paper looks awesome, I will have to try it!

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